Working outside during the hot summer days in Florida without taking safety precautions can lead to serious illness for your crew. One of the main OSHA complaints during the summer from employees is the hot weather. The body cools itself by sweating, and during hot weather with high humidity, sweat isn’t enough. When the body temperature rises and the body is not able to cool down, heat illness can take form. Heat rashes, cramps, and exhaustion are all signs that the body is suffering, and those symptoms can lead to heat stroke. Heat stroke is something that requires immediate medical attention and can result in death.
OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) has provided some simple tips on taking extreme care to make sure you and your employees stay safe this summer while working in the heat:
- Workers should be drinking water every fifteen minutes, even if they are not thirsty. If more water is leaving the body than entering, dehydration will set in.
- Take short breaks in the shade to cool down when needed.
- Wear a hat and lighter colored clothing to block out the sun.
- Learn the signs of heat illness and what to do in an emergency.
- Signs of heat illness can include heavy sweating, weakness, clammy skin, abnormal pulse, nausea or vomiting, or fainting.
- Keep an eye on fellow workers. If you notice someone next to you displaying signs of heat illness, alert a manager immediately.
- “Easy does it” on your first few days of work in the heat. You need to get used to it.
OSHA also suggests that employers should put into place a heat illness prevention program to fend off heat illness. This is something that can be done on your own, or with the help of your OSHA complaint attorney. OSHA also recommends that workers that are new to working in the heat or are returning from more than a week off, and for all workers on the first day of a sudden heat wave, should have an implemented work schedule that will allow them time to get used to the heat slowly. Working in full sunlight can increase heat index values by 15 degrees Fahrenheit according to OSHA, and they encourage you to keep this in mind and plan additional precautions for working in these conditions.
To schedule an appointment with one of our OSHA defense attorneys, please call us at 813.579.3278 or submit our contact request form to request a consultation.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.